Fire erupts in front of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in Berkeley

Daniela Cervantes/Staff

An RV in front of the Phi Gamma Delta, or Fiji, fraternity house caught on fire Sunday evening, but the fire has since been put out.

According to Berkeley Police Department Sgt. David Marble, officials received reports of the fire about 10:23 p.m. Shortly after, the Berkeley Fire Department arrived on the scene near Channing Way and Piedmont Avenue. Firefighters were able to contain the fire within 10 minutes and put the fire out entirely in about 20 to 25 minutes.

No one was injured during the incident, and there was no reported damage to the house, according to Marble. A tree in front of the house, however, was severely burned from the fire.


Daniela Cervantes / Staff

Marble said several UC Berkeley students had rented the RV to drive down to the football game against the University of Southern California on Saturday.

“They drove back — they unloaded the vehicle — they went inside their house, and 20 minutes later, it caught fire,” Marble said.

Although Marble said witnesses reported seeing gasoline leaking out of the vehicle moments before the fire, there is no known cause of the fire at this time.

The fire drew a large crowd, and several students on the scene recalled hearing a loud explosion at the time of the incident.

“We heard (the explosion) probably like … four times,” said ASUC President Alexander Wilfert, who was nearby at the time of the incident. “We heard a huge boom, and there was so much smoke and so much fire. And we didn’t know if it was the house or what. It kept blowing up — it kept exploding.”

Several members of the fraternity who were outside the house declined to comment on the incident as of press time.

Chantelle Lee is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ChantelleHLee.